The Road to College Admission

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1 The Road to College Admission

2 What to Expect How to choose a campus 4 Systems of higher education at a glance Eligibility & UC requirements What do college admissions officers look for? UC comprehensive review UC application & personal statement What is a parent s s role? Senior Timeline Senioritis Next steps Internet resources

3 Apply Broadly Students should be applying to at least 4 UC campuses before Nov. 30 of senior year. Students should be applying across the 4 systems. Fee waivers allow students to apply to 4 UC s and 4 CSU s for FREE.

4 How to Choose a Campus Type Public vs. private, selectivity, reputation, housing, etc. Size Location People Student body, campus life, etc. Cost Academics Special programs, honors, etc. Social Opportunities Clubs, athletics, greek life, etc. Personal Factors Campus safety, legacy, etc.

5 How NOT to Choose a Campus Some things to consider... How well a school s s football team does is a reflection of how good the school is. Your child must remember that s/he is going to college, and not running away to college. College is more than chillin with the homies. Beware of hearsay. Learn to separate fact from fiction.

6 4 Systems of Higher Ed Cal State UC CCC Privates Number in CA Degree/ Certificates Offered Bachelors & Masters Degrees Bachelors, Masters Degrees, Doctorates & Professional Degrees Associates Degrees & Vocational Certificates Mission Teaching & learning Research Institution Life-long learning Varies Varies (Associates Degrees, Vocational Certificates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorates, Professional Degrees) Group Targets Top 33% of graduating high school class Top 12.5% of graduating high school class n/a Varies Cost & Fees $3,500 $8,900 $20/unit $5,000-$40,000 Financial Aid Available ALL 4 types of financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study) are available. FAFSA & GPA Verification Form are due March 2nd of 12th grade

7 4 Systems Requirements Cal State UC CCC Privates Courses A-G A-G n/a A-G recommended Entrance Exams SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT SAT Reasoning Test OR ACT Plus Writing AND Two SAT Subject Tests from two different disciplines English and mathematics placement tests Varies (SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT is often required) GPA Minimum 2.0 in A-G courses (taken during 10 th -11 th grades) 3.0 in A-G courses (taken during 10 th -11 th grades) n/a Varies Honors & AP Often Recommended Recommended n/a Varies (Often recommended) Personal Statement Letters of Recommendation Application Deadline n/a Required n/a Varies n/a n/a n/a Varies November 30 November 30 Rolling Varies

8 Why the UC Track? If a student completes all the academic requirements as outlined in the University of California course requirements, s/he will be completely eligible for ALL Community Colleges and ALL California State Universities,, and MOST Private and Independent Colleges.

9 University of California Eligibility There are three ways to achieve University of California eligibility: 1) Eligibility in the Statewide Context 2) Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) 3) Eligibility by Examination Alone Most UC applicants will apply under the category of Eligibility in the Statewide Context.

10 UC Requirements Academic A-G Requirements GPA SAT Reasoning Test (or ACT plus Writing), and SAT Subject Tests Need to take these tests before December of your senior year AP & Honors Courses Supplemental Personal Statement Extracurricular Activities Honors and Awards Proof of Leadership

11 A-G Requirements Minimally Eligible Applicant 2 years of History / Social Science 4 years of English 3 years Math (minimum( Algebra 2) 2 2 years of Laboratory Science 2 years of a Foreign Language 1 year of Visual / Performing Arts 1 year of College Prep Elective Competitively Eligible Applicant 3 years of History / Social Science 4 years of English (AP / Honors) 4 years Math (minimum( Algebra 2) 2 3 years of Laboratory Science 3-4 years of a Foreign Language 1 year of Visual / Performing Arts 1 year of College Prep Elective

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13 Benefits of Honors & AP courses Why enroll? GPA booster Competitive applicant College preparation Save you time and money College credit (Scores of 3-5 on AP exams only) How do you enroll? Talk to your student s s counselor Often based on performance in prerequisite courses Alternatives Enroll in community college courses

14 When to Take SAT/ACT Spring of Junior Year The highest level of math on the SAT Reasoning Test is low level Algebra II The SAT Subject Test Math Level 2 exam tests up to Calculus SAT Subject Tests should be taken right after AP exams. Subject tests can be taken separately! PSAT should be taken during the 9th, 10th, & 11th grades

15 ACT vs. SAT ACT Plus Writing SAT Reasoning Test Fee: Test Purpose: Test Content: Method of Scoring: $46.00 Achievement Math, English, Writing, & Science Reasoning NUMBER OF RIGHT ANSWERS & NO PENALTY FOR WRONG ANSWERS $45.00 Aptitude Critical Reading, Writing, & Math Reasoning SCORE ADJUSTED FOR GUESSING & PENALTY FOR WRONG ANSWERS

16 What Do Admissions Officers Look For? UC Comprehensive Review 1. High school grade point average in UC-required courses 2. Standardized test scores 3. Number of, content of and performance in academic courses completed beyond the University s s minimum eligibility requirements 4. Number of, and performance in honors and AP courses 5. Being identified as eligible in the local context by ranking in the top 4 percent of the high school class, as determined by the University s s academic criteria 6. Quality of the senior year program, as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned

17 What Do Admissions Officers Look For? UC Comprehensive Review (cont ) 7. Quality of academic performance relative to educational opportunities available in the applicant's school 8. Outstanding performance in one or more academic subject areas 9. Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field 10. Recent marked improvement in academic performance 11. Special talents, achievements, and awards in a particular field, or experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership or ability to contribute to the intellectual vitality of the campus

18 What Do Admissions Officers Look For? UC Comprehensive Review (cont ) 12. Completion of special projects that offer significant evidence of an applicant s s special effort, determination or special suitability to an academic program. 13. Academic accomplishments in light of an applicant s experiences and circumstances, such as disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status. 14. Location of the applicant s s secondary school and residence, to provide for geographic diversity in the student population and to account for the wide variety of educational environments existing in California.

19 Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) ELC recognizes students' individual accomplishments in light of the opportunities offered by their particular high schools. Top 4 percent of students in each high school's graduating class as determined by UC (not based on rank on transcript) Guarantees ELC students a spot in the UC system, though not necessarily at their campus of choice To be considered for ELC, one must have a GPA 3.0 and complete 11 yearlong A-G courses by the end of their junior year: History/Social Science 1 year English 3 years Mathematics 2 years Laboratory Science 1 year Language Other than English 1 year VPA or Electives 3 years UC notifies On-track & ELC at the beginning of their senior year Students must still apply to UC in November and complete remaining eligibility requirements including the A-G and entrance exams

20 UC Application Where to start

21 Before the Application A student should have the following items ready before beginning a college application High School/College transcripts Test Scores Activities & Awards How many years involved? How many weeks per year? How many hours per week? Parent Information Annual Income Residency Educational attainment Occupation Social Security Number Citizenship Status Credit Card Statewide ID#

22 UC Application Sections Explore the application ahead of time at u/admissions/apptour/

23 Personal Statement Where to start

24 What Should It Say About You? A Strong Personal Statement should demonstrate: Personal qualities that relate to college success Reflection on experiences & activities Meaningful engagement A Personal Statement is not: Solely a sample of writing skills A laundry list of activities, honors, awards, etc.

25 Writing the Personal Statement: Two questions Students respond to both questions A maximum of 1,000 words total Students should stay within the word limit as closely as they can. A little over 1,012 words, for example is fine. Students choose length of each response If they choose to respond to one prompt at greater length, we suggest the shorter answer be no less than 250 words. There will be separate entry boxes for each question Each entry box has a word counter to help applicants track the length of their responses This section times out after 40 minutes and all unsaved work will be lost. Type it on a word processor first then copy and paste them into the entry boxes

26 Topics for Freshmen Applicants Describe the world you come from for example, your family, community or school and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

27 What characteristics do we look for? Thoughtfulness Incisive reflection -- some sense of who you are Personal qualities including, but not limited to: Self-discipline Leadership Commitment to others Maturation Tenacity Informal Leaders Demonstrate a Sensitivity for Differences UC is a RESEARCH institution and looks for characteristics within its students that best represent and embody it.

28 Common Mistakes Not having a THESIS Writing about events/situations that occurred before 9th grade Writing in flowery prose or descriptive essays Skimming over the surface and not delving deep inside your soul Listing events/activities Not getting to the real story Forgetting to end each response with how your skills translate to success at the university Writing too much (not following directions) Not choosing the right rough draft readers

29 Keep In Mind No single perfect personal statement exists. There is only the personal statement that is right for the person submitting it. Remember: An admissions decision will never be based on the content of a personal statement alone and will ultimately help a student in the admissions process.

30 Taking a Proactive Approach Maintain strong academics GPA is calculated using 10th & 11th grades Meet with his/her counselor each year to plan next year s s schedule - and choose a challenging curriculum Make sure all of student s s high school courses are UC approved ucop.edu/doorways Take the PSAT Start reading up on SAT & ACT info Do volunteer work Join clubs and organizations Get involved!

31 What Can Students Do in the Mean Time? GET INVOLVED! Tutoring YMCA Coaching/refereeing City or County agencies Ex: Anaheim Parks & Recreation Hospitals and convalescent homes Sports (great but not enough!) What else can they do? How can they be a leaders?

32 Senior Timeline October 1 - November 30: : CSU & UC application submission December: Last chance to take SAT s s and ACT for seniors January 1 - March 2: FAFSA & GPA Verification Form submission March 1 - April 5: You will hear back from all the campuses you applied to. Remember, all the UC campuses DO NOT mail out their letters at the same time. So don't panic if you hear from one campus and not another. Just be patient. April 1-30: Visit all campuses one has applied to and make final decisions May 1: Deadline to submit Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) May: Take college placement exams and AP exams June: Graduation! Make sure all A-G classes were passed with a C or better July 15: : Final official transcript must be received by the UC campus that student plans to attend. High schools usually send out transcripts for students after graduation. However, students should always double check just to be absolutely sure.

33 Senioritis Vaccine College admission is CONDITIONAL Though UC/CSU does not use 12th gade to calculate the GPA, seniors must still Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA Pass all A-G classes with a C or better Notify all campuses of changes in coursework or D/F grades in A-G classes Follow through with all reported AP exams Respond to campus requests promptly (especially those from admissions and/or financial aid offices)

34 What About Mom & Dad? Make sure all of your student s s classes are A-G approved. Always ask about AP and Honor courses, and encourage your child to enroll in the most challenging courses offered for as long as s/he can. Encourage your child to regularly review his/her transcripts and plan courses with his/her high school counselor to fulfill BOTH graduation requirements and college entrance requirements. Understand that applying to college is much more than good grades. Students should be very active in their school & community and NEED YOUR SUPPORT.

35 Where on the Web College Searches SAT info. ACT info. UC Application High School Course Lists Financial Aid / Scholarships

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